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  • June 2009
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13 year old strip searched for Ibuprofin?

OK folks, get this:

A student at a junior high school is caught with Ibuprofen. The school has a zero tolerance policy for ANY medication. The student claims that the pills belong to another girl. The second girl is called to the principle’s office, and is subjected to a search. Not just her backpack and locker, but her body – a full strip search.

So, we all know that the whole “war on drugs” thing has gotten so extreme that it borders on insanity, but folks, this was IBUPROFIN, and I’m sorry, there just isn’t anyway to justify a strip search – especially based on the accusation of some other kid who is trying to stay out of trouble. Think about it – if YOU knew that you were facing the likes of a strip search, and all you had to do was point your finger at someone else (especially in middle school), how fast would YOUR finger be flipping out?

The thing that is even more amazing is that the courts have (for the most part)  supported the school’s right to carry out this search. Fortunately, the Supreme court had the decent sense to actually uphold the fourth amendment (which protects you from unreasonable search). Unfortunately, they also upheld a lower court ruling that the perpetrators could not be held personally liable for their actions. Sorry folks, even in the army in a war zone, following an order that you know is illegal will get you in a rash of hurt. “Just following orders” didn’t cut it at Nuremberg, and it certainly doesn’t hold water here.

I don’t know what has happened to the school officials involved in this incident – it took place in 2003 in rural Arizona. At the very least, I hope they lost their jobs. What SHOULD have happened is that every single school official involved (including the school board members and teachers union members that supported the perpetrators) should have simply been lynched. Now THAT is a nice clear message that no school official in the country could possibly misinterpret. Couple nice news pics of a bunch of bureaucrats hanging from the local live oak would make national headlines and make sure that any school official thought twice about this type of abuse of power. If lynching is too strong for you, I guess I could settle for burning them out of their homes, applying a liberal dose of tar and feathers, and running them out of town. Lets face it folks, in any other venue, these  thugs would have been labeled as sexual predators, face major jail time, and a lifetime of being labeled as perverts. Of course, in this case, it would all be justified.

Folks, our school systems suck, and they are eviscerating anything resembling our children’s civil and constitutional rights. As citizens, it is our responsibility to make sure that the legal system does not simply sit idly by and allow this type of abuse. If and when the legal system DOES let criminals like this off the hook, it is OUR job as citizens to protect our children from these predators.

“Rural Arizona” is an area that tends to have a large number of folks that understand the failings of the legal system, and I certainly hope that a few of them had the balls to polish off their shotguns and demonstrate that in some cases, vigilante justice is not only justified, it is necessary. Ladies and Gentlemen: lock and load. If I ended up sitting on the jury considering the prosecution of an individual involved in the appropriate disciplining of these perverts, I’d be proud to make a finding of “innocent”, and I’d be proud to to shake that persons hand.


5 Responses

  1. Wow… That is insane…. over the counter drugs are legal… That is taking it too far….

  2. Hi there: I had a similar experience with my son last year and while it never got to the strip search part I am astounded at the way it was brought about. I will try to be brief:

    In March of last year I was at the hospital all day as my sister was having brain surgery. My son, a freshman called me when he got home from school and said: “MOM, I GOT PULLED OUT OF CLASS AND THEY WERE GOING TO STRIP SEARCH ME FOR DRUGS.” My first thought of course was : what was he doing that would make them think he has drugs on him?

    Let me just inteject a moment and say that I am not the mother who says “not my kid” Surely if he did give any inclination that he was a drug dealer or user then by all means do what you have to do.

    To give a little back ground on who they were suspicious of: He is a good student, has been on the varsity wrestling team since his freshman year, is a 1st string football player and has only been in trouble once in school for an altercation that he did not start.

    Okay back to this : I was horrified at the thought that: A) I was not notified at all, B) The police interrogated him without my knowledge or presence C) That if in fact he was into drugs and that day he just happened to be clean, he was sent home to either tell me or not tell me and I would have been none the wiser.

    I called the police liason immediately and inquired as to what prompted this. He responded that the teacher noticed that he and another boy were laughing in class and she suspected that they must be on drugs.

    **** Again, my intejection: They are fourteen year old boys, laughing in class… Yes drugs would be my first thought! Fourteen year old boys act stupid all the time so I did not see her reasoning for this.

    He told me that he went and got him out of class, asked him a few questions, went through his disciplinary record with him, grades, and then told him that he was going to be strip searched so if he had anything to confess he should right then.

    When I about lost my mind on the phone and asked him why I was not notified he responded that he would have never searched him without calling me first. Yet, he should have never been interrogated without my knowledge.

    He tried to calm me down saying, Maam, after questioning I didn’t see the need to search him, it was obvious that he was not on anything at all. Yet he did not see that whether or not he saw the need, he violated my childs rights.

    Could I have taken that further? Definately, but chose not to as he was never searched.

    The problems in the schools these days is they are more concerned with who is texting or using their phone, who kissed someone and now is suspended for sexual harassment, who is tardy and so on. Yet I can tell you that on a daily basis my son could buy any pill or drug that he wants right there in school. I am astounded that the ones who are “known” to bring drugs to school are the ones never searched. Yet, a child laughing in class is definate grounds for drug use?

    This girls mother had every right to sue the school. I know that there is zero tolerance but I am sure that her being searched for ibuprofen did nothing more than allow the kid who was sitting in the class with vicodin, or xanax to make his money that day….

  3. While I agree that you were in the right, and your son was abused by the school, the problem is that you DIDN’T DO ANYTHING. By not making a huge deal out of this, you have let the school know that you don’t mind them continuing this sort of behavior.

    Yes, it is a good thing he wasn’t strip searched. However, at the very least you should have made it clear to him that if this sort of thing EVER happens again, he is under no obligation to talk to the cops (or the principle, teacher, whatever), and that the only LEGAL recourse they can take is to contact you (which they should have done in the first place) or arrest him. Arresting him will be certain to generate a huge media storm (with minor encouragement), and will make the school think twice about doing it again.
    By the way, physically resisting illegal actions is called self defence. I would make sure your kid knows something about it.

  4. Oh I guess I wasn’t clear in the rest of the outcome,sorry I was focusing on what they did. I did report the teacher to the board, told the cop that I never expected anything of this nature or anything else that entailed my child being in a room under question without my knowledge. I talked to the teacher who admitted that she may have jumped the gun and told her that if int he future she had a bad day and chose to take it out on my child with ridiculous accusations I would not only have her job but would own the school…

  5. Sounds better, but what not have his/her job (and own the school) the FIRST time? how many other kids are going through this type of thing because their parents aren’t willing to make noise about it? I bet if you did some research, you’d find out that your son is not the only one who’s been put in this situation.

    Single we may not be able to make much difference, but as a group, we can raise holy hell over this type of abuse.

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